It’s not the first time I’ve written about boxed wine, but it’s still a memorable occasion for me. The reason is that this marks the first time I kept right on drinking a boxed wine until it turned—which means I found it pretty decent! I bought the Trove three-liter-sized box at my local Safeway (the “crazy” Safeway, as I like to call it, on Market Street in the Castro—those who’ve shopped there know exactly what I mean) six weeks ago, and it only just began to spoil about two weeks ago. Now, I know that boxed wine is touted for its capacity to last for up to a month in your fridge, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. But still—I was just really pleased to experience this durability first-hand, and also pretty shocked at how much of the Trove I put back over a four-week stretch!
The Trove three-liter box, priced at about $23 (which works out to $5.75 per traditional 750 mL “bottle” we’re familiar with), is decent stuff. Especially when you consider the swill that’s currently crowding our supermarket shelves for more than this much dough per bottle, it’s a good value. The reason the stuff lasts for so long is that boxed wine comes with a collapsible bag inside, which protects the wine from oxidation.
Up to a point, of course. It’s not common knowledge, but most wine starts to go downhill after about a month when stored in your fridge, since the temperature in your fridge is too low and the humidity isn’t high enough to keep wine in decent shape for a whole lot longer. I go into more detail on just why this is the case in my upcoming book—so I’ll take advantage of this moment to say buy the book if you really want the low-down on this fridge thing, technically speaking.
Those content in comprehending without the “why” behind it all can rest assured that this is pretty normal for all wine, though—not just boxed. But back to the Trove. I just want to say that it’s pleasantly good and that I’d buy it again. Besides tasting alright (again, with boxed wine we’re not really looking for “blockbuster” wine!), Trove comes in a cool package, which you can see pictured here. It’s also got a clever visual description of its contents on the side, which shows that a single box is the equivalent of four bottles of wine and twenty-four glasses. Smart, huh?
I also like the copy on the same side of the box, which says “a trove is usually a valuable find, a treasure hidden … aren’t the greatest treasures often found in unexpected places?” Well put, Trove marketing people. Boxed wines are getting better all the time, and—especially for those of us who can’t or don’t care to spend a ton on everyday drinking wine—they fit the bill more and more often. This Cali Chardonnay (Trove also makes Cab, Merlot, and Pinot Grigio) isn’t anything to write home about, but that didn’t stop me from drinking quite a few (okay, a lot) of glasses of it.
And sometimes, that’s just fine where a wine’s concerned.
The Bottom Line
This stuff’s drinkable, mellow Chardonnay. Not overly oaked, not too low in acid. A pleasant surprise.
Photo courtesy of Courtney Cochran